Calling All Snack Artists
Are you tired of the same, ho-hum flavors on your potato chips? If so, then you may want to take advantage of a special offer from Kettle Foods, Salem, Ore. For a limited time, the snack food company is offering a Kettle Create-a-Chip Kit with seven seasoning blends and four 1-oz bags of plain potato chips. The seven seasonings include lemon butter, caramelized onion, roasted tomato, cheddar, vinegar, sweet chili, and sour cream & chive. After consumers create their favorite flavors, they are encouraged to submit their recipes online and be entered to win free Kettle potato chips for a year. Fan flavors will be featured online for others to rate and review on a five-star scale from dull to delicious. The limited-edition Kettle Create-a-Chip Kits are available online at for $14.99 (including shipping to U.S. addresses) and will be in Cost Plus stores nationwide and Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest this summer.

Deli Meats Trim Salt
Sara Lee, Downers Grove, Ill., has launched a line of lower sodium sliced-to-order deli meats, with flavors including Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Honey Ham, Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, and Roast Beef. Sara Lee Lower Sodium deli meats are significantly lower in sodium than their counterpart deli meats based on USDA data. For example, Honey Ham (water added) has 36% less sodium than USDA data for ham (water added) and Oven Roasted Turkey Breast has 40% less sodium than USDA data for oven roasted turkey breast. “Our customers have told us they aren’t willing to sacrifice taste when it comes to buying lower sodium foods,” says Jonathan Drake, Vice President, Sara Lee Deli.

The average suggested retail price ranges from $6.99 to $8.99 per lb, depending on the region of the country. The lower sodium meats have also earned the American Heart Association’s (AHA) heart-check mark, which indicates that the meats have been screened and verified to meet the AHA’s certification criteria to be low in saturated fat and cholesterol for healthy people over age 2.

Savory Sandwich Wars
Kraft Foods, Glenview, Ill., and Nestlé Prepared Foods Co., Solon, Ohio, are going head-to-head with new lines of savory heat-and-eat sandwiches under same brand name—Flatbread Melts. DiGiorno Flatbread Melts from Kraft consist of toasty flatbread folded over Italian-inspired ingredients such as white meat chicken, fire-roasted vegetables, and cheese. The frozen, microwavable handheld sandwiches come in four varieties—Chicken Parmesan, Italian-Style Meatball & Four Cheese, Chicken & Bacon Ranch, and Steak & Fire Roasted Vegetables. Each 6-oz product carries a suggested retail price of $3.19.

Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine Flatbread Melts from Nestlé contain 330 calories and about 9 g of fat per 6.75-oz serving. They come in four flavors—Chicken Philly, Chophouse Steak, Pesto Chicken, and Chicken Ranch Club. The products don a suggested retail price of $3.49. The offerings from Kraft and Nestlé are targeted to the lunchtime crowd. Nearly half (45%) of workers in the United States say they’re taking shorter and/or fewer lunch breaks than they did a year ago. The reasons are increased workload and rising meal expenses.